CARACAS - Fidel Castro, in an audio aired on Venezuelan state television late on Friday, joked about rumors circulating in the capital, Miami and on Twitter over the past few weeks that he was gravely ill or had died.
The 85-year-old former Cuban president and revolutionary icon had been out of sight for two months until photographs published on Thursday and Friday showed him chatting with Venezuelan state TV commentator Mario Silva.
Some of the shots, showing Castro having a bowl of soup and talking with Silva, were shown on Silva's regular late-night talk show while an audio of the interview was broadcast.
"They've killed me off any number of times," Castro joked in a hoarse but steady voice when asked by Silva about the rumors of his demise. "The guys who make these predictions make me laugh, as if for me death would be bad news."